Gisele Mesnage: Timofei Byelo's article was excellent

Dear Inna Timofei Byelo’s article on the recent soccer fan riots in Moscow published in Pravda.Ru recently, was excellent. In 1989, I was in Moscow for an eye operation. It was my fourth visit to Russia, a country that has fascinated me since I was 14. The atmosphere in Moscow was a little different than it had been on previous visits. There was a palatable tension in the air. One morning, walking along one of the avenues, there was glass all over the footpath, and people said vandals had smashed a shop window. I remember the chill I felt that instant. I remember the thought that came to my mind: this is the beginning of the end. When I returned to Sydney, I reported on my visit to my fellow members of the Australia-USSR Friendship Society. I told them socialism was coming to an end. No one believed. Reading Timofei Byelo’s article, watching the news reports of the soccer riots on our TV, I’m living through the ominous vision I had that day back in 1989. It is so painful to watch Russia today. There were problems under socialism, but non as dire as the ones manifesting themselves now. I still love Russia, and I hope with all my heart that you will surface from this turmoil. Peace

Gisele Mesnage Sydney, Australia

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